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CGIS Gulf Region, Regional Office

Mason sat in his cubicle at the CGIS headquarters for the Gulf Region as he typed out the final investigative report for the SAC. He and his partner had been assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate death of a young coast guardsman aboard one of the many buoy tenders assigned to Coast Guard Base, New Orleans. The investigation had determined that the young man’s death had accidental and avoidable had it not been for the negligence of one of his crew mates who had reported for duty still hungover from the night before on Bourbon street. This had resulted in the arrest of the crew member in question and charges of manslaughter were pending. Mason sighed as he took a sip from his coffee mug. It seemed Bourbon street had a hand in many of his cases since he had joined the CGIS in New Orleans, but it did beat having to track poachers through the Alaskan winter.

While Mason had enjoyed his time with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Federal Wildlife Officer, the bureaucracy and case load had not served to scratch the itch he felt as an investigator. The Coast Guard Investigative Service had seemed like an interesting position since it would allow him to continue to use the maritime law he had learned with USFWS. He did miss being out in the wilderness since the Louisiana native was an avid hunter and fisherman. Just coming out of his probationary period, Mason was hitting his stride with the CGIS and he was pleased he had made the transfer.

Petty Officer Walker, the SAC’s yeoman, knocked on the metal frame of his cubicle. “Special Agent Benoit, the SAC would like to see you in his office,” she said while returning to her own cubicle outside the SAC’s corner office. Mason saved the report on his computer and stood from his chair. He adjusted the weight of his Sig Sauer and badge on his belt before making his way over to the SAC’s office and knocking on the door before sticking his head in. “You wanted to see me sir,” he asked in his thick Louisiana accent and waited to be permitted to enter.

“Yes, please come in and close the hatch behind you,” Commander Englehorne said from his desk. Commander Englehorne was the Supervisory Agent in charge of the Gulf Region, and rumor was he was nearing retirement from active duty. Mason had come to respect the commander and thought he was a fair and effective leader. He knew many of his colleagues would miss him when he retired, but Commander Englehorne had the familiar look of a cop who was ready to hang up the badge. Mason entered the office and closed the door behind him before sitting in one of the two chairs in front of the SAC’s desk.

“It’s a shame with your last case. Looks like Bourbon street has claimed another,” the commander said while leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands over his chest. 

Mason nodded, “Yes sir. Petty Officer Hillard’s service is scheduled for tomorrow. I know his folks will be happy to put this behind them.”

Englehorne nodded before looking back at Mason, “Your a good caseworker Mr. Benoit. You have a keen eye, I suspect that is from your years tracking bears up in Alaska with Fish and Wildlife.” 

“Yes sir,” Mason said while getting a feeling this conversation wasn’t just about his previous case. 

“There’s an opening in the Chesapeake-Capital Region for a Special Agent on Response Team 3, and I’ve taken the liberty of submitting your name for the job,” Englehorne said. Mason took a moment to think before answering.

“I hope i haven’t stepped in something i shouldn’t have sir. I’m happy here in New Orleans,” Mason said. He was surprised and flattered, but he had finally settled into the daily goings on in the office.

Englehorne smiled slightly, “I can see the look in your eye. It’s the same one i had back when i first joined CGIS. You don’t want to stay here running down drunks gone AWOL after a night in the French Quarter. The Chesapeake-Capital region is high speed and better suited to your skills.” He pause before continuing, “Unless I’m mistaken?”

Mason sighed and confessed, “No sir.”

“Good,” Englehorne said before sliding over a few sheets of paper on his desk. “Consider this my last act before retirement. These are you transfer orders and on boarding process. Your reporting date is in about a month. Should be enough time since your still in an apartment anyway.” Englehorne smiled as he said the last bit. 

Mason accepted the papers and looked back at his, now former, boss, “I’ve got a recliner, and a bed. What more could a man need?” He grinned back at Englehorne and the two shared a laugh. 

Englehorne extened his hand which Mason shook, “Congratulations Special Agent Benoit. I’ll be sure Ms. Walker passes the word around the office and we will celebrate your good fortune Friday.”

“Thank you sir. And I wish you the best on your retirement,” Mason said as he stood and made his way over to the door. He looked back at the commander and the two shared a nod between two men who respected each other, before he exited the office.

“Congratulations,” Petty Officer Walker said with a smile as he passed by her desk. Mason returned it before leaning over, “And i don’t suppose you could help me pack?” 

“Ohh, didn’t i tell you? I’m allergic to moving,” Walker said with a laugh. Mason laughed and made his way back to his cubicle. He set the paperwork on his desk and smiled to himself. He knew his mother would have a fit when he called that night to say he was moving once again, but they had grown used to it since he had moved around frequently since college. Mason booted up his computer and returned his focus to his last report as a member of the Gulf Regional Response Team.

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